Summary of Ch. 1 – Liberating Nietzsche – Nihilism Undone

This chapter presents Friedrich Nietzsche as a decisive thinker for a radical atheism. Running against the grain of the common misconception of casting Nietzsche as a radical individualist, this chapter argues that Nietzsche is a thinker who rails against the instrumentalisation and capitalisation of the human being, and indeed traditional notions of atheism. It is implicit to this chapter that Nietzsche’s famous expression “God is Dead” is not atheistic in the traditional sense. The importance of Nietzsche for the radical atheist is that his work is the beginning of a way to overcome nihilism in a radically atheist fashion. Nietzsche’s übermensch are here conceived of as figures of temporal self-development resisting economic managerialism, cultural homogeneity and the limitation of human capacity in the guise of what Nietzsche calls the ‘current’ human. Stated more positively Nietzsche’s exhorts the atheist to think themselves as temporally grounded, future oriented, embodied and meaning seeking beings. All of which become indices of a radical atheism.

 

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